Officially, the citizenry of the city of Cracow is put at some 760,000 but it determined thousands of actual residents who don’t bother to register as such, illegal immigrants, and about 100,000 students. At the same time the population of whole metropolitan area, the Cracow proper together with its outer suburban areas and satellite towns; it totals some 1.5 million people. And the head count within the 100-km radius approaches nine million.
The city’s residents are solidly Polish; nevertheless several thousand foreigners live more or less permanently here. In Poland, the denizens’ of Cracow enjoy a reputation of meticulous and frugal folk, a bit reserved but life-loving.
As in many countries, the Polish people are very grateful of guests who make an effort to speak their language, with the use of basic words such witaj (hello), dziekuje (thank you) and prosze (please) likely to be rewarded with a smile, while also often ensuring faster and friendlier service in shops and offices.
When meeting or greeting Polish people in Cracow, it is customary to do so with a simple handshake rather than by kissing or hugging; these more physical forms of greeting are strictly reserved for close family and friends. Also, when addressing people in Cracow, it is essential to use the word Pan (Mr) or Pani (Mrs) followed by the family name to avoid embarrassment.
As the Polish people are typically very hospitable, it is important to avoid causing offense if you are invited into their home. If you see a line of shoes outside the front door, you should always remove yours before entering. Equally, it is important for men to be polite towards women, with simple acts such as opening a door, enough to ensure a good impression.
Any place and any time by merry making is good for talking business in Cracow. When eating out business is a reliable topic before, during and after the meal. Flowers are very popular with Poles who give them on many occasions, especially birthday and name-day celebrations, weddings, and visits to polish homes.